This is the first in a three-part series from Coach Drew on Building Mental Awareness in the gym. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the physical side of our training, that sometimes it's helpful to have a reminder to stay mindful as well.
In middle school, I became painfully aware of my own body image issues. What my mom called “husky” was fuel for many other types of nicknames and jokes from my peers. Middle school sucked - but being “overweight”, “fat”, and “chunky” was even worse. I am not saying that any of these labels are negative - body positivity all the way! However, the emotions, feelings, and the impact that these experiences had on me directly influenced my motivations, views, and perceptions on fitness and health.
Mental awareness begins with understanding the factors that influence us and motivate us in the box. What we bring to the table is an important part of knowing what progress looks like and how your concept of progress might change over time. A former collegiate athlete might come in with the desire to get to their level of fitness when they were competing and later adjust their expectations to a broader definition of health.
Believe that you are an athlete
Everyone who walks into our box is an athlete. In Ancient Greek, the word athlete came from a set of words that meant “one who competes for a prize”. There was little distinction between an amatuer athlete or a professional athlete in Ancient time - in the end everyone who competed was simply, an athlete. For our sake, we are all competing for something. Be it better health, challenge, or to be a more well-rounded person.
Even as a high school swimmer, I never referred to myself as an athlete. It was not until finishing college did I begin to shift my focus. I wanted to become healthier. The prize? A lifelong journey of wellness. I realized people began to ask me about health tips and fitness routines. It was like a weird twist in fate.
The next time you walk into the gym and feel doubt in your mind about what is written on the whiteboard, I want you to tell yourself, “I am an athlete!” You absolutely belong in the box. The fact that you walked into the box with those doubts makes you a powerful athlete. The willingness to try and develop is one of the defining characteristics of great athletes. And you are one of them.
I remember one of the last competitions I did and sulking on the cement thinking of how much better every other athlete seemed to be. Later that day, my sister mentioned how much of a “fitness-fanatic” I am now. It served as an immediate perception check of how much I’ve grown since starting CrossFit and now competing as an athlete. The beginnings of building your mental awareness starts off with what you already bring to to the gym - start by simply considering your past and having belief in the present.
You ever wish you could just nail down that one skill?
Back when I started, I was OBSESSED with kipping pull ups. BUT, since I couldn't do them, every time they came up in a workout it was like:
“Sigh, more ring rows, I suppose..”
Eventually, after working on the skills (and challenging myself beyond that same old scaling option), I got it…
but until I started doing some extra research and practicing it on my own, I never really nailed it.
It was a lesson that with the right drills, and a few mins each week, you can nail any skill.
Easier said than done…what if you don’t have the time to geek out on YouTube videos and read long articles about kipping?
We’ve got something for you…
Welcome to the Spring Skill Clinic Series!
We have put together a series of courses designed to help you get to that next level on gymnastics, lifting, and yes, even double unders!
These courses include small group coaching (most groups are limited to 4 ppl) to focus on your needs, skills and drills to improve in small chunks, and homework between the sessions to help you improve over time.
Best of all, we will run the courses around YOUR schedule.
Check out the skills below!
Here’s how it works.
1) Pick the course you want.
2) Email and let me know which one, or sign up on the sheet at the gym.
3) Once we have 2-3 other folks interested, we will email all of you to schedule the best times for the sessions.
Questions? Reply and let me know.
PS – Do you have skills you want to learn that AREN’T on this list? reply and tell me that too!
That particular combination of movements has always been rough for me, and I really didn’t want to finish last in the WOD (again). Being a smaller guy on “heavy day” has always been a daunting feeling.
Luckily for me, my support system (my wife) is incredibly determined and made sure to always refocus me on my priorities. Her (sometimes)gentle nudges would remind me that the only way to get better at heavy lifting was to show up when it was programmed. The only way to get over my lack of vertical leaping ability was to do more box jumps!
As my CrossFit career went on, I eventually became comfortable with all of the movements. But that still didn’t stop me from being terrified of certain workouts. Or feeling like they were too boring;
And if it looked like something I wasn’t going to be good at, I channeled all my effort into getting as much out of that session as I could. I didn’t need to be the best, and no one cared if I was the worst. I credit my constant improvement to this focus on process. I’m six years into CrossFit and still hitting PRs monthly.
There’s no cherry-picking here.
Not everyone's the same, however. If you experience these same feelings of WOD-anxiety, try a month of not checking the workouts ahead of time. Lock in 3-4 classes on your weekly schedule that you know you can make it to, and then SHOW UP.
I bet by the end of the month you’ll have earned a new PR card!
by Coach Drew
Another Open done. As my 5th Open, I still counted the days until it was over, all the while trying to manage my nerves. Don’t expect anything profound from my experience this year. In fact, what I learned is probably something that you’ve heard every single coach remind you of weekly if not daily in the box. Here goes...
Work on your weaknesses
You are not going to get better unless you focus on what you need to work on. I repeat, you WILL NOT get better on double unders if you do not practice double unders. It is in our nature to focus on things we do well - it validates us, makes us feel awesome when we crush it, and motivates us to come back. But we need to remember those pesky skills, lifts, and movements that make us want to push snooze or go to happy hour instead of the gym.
Make a commitment today
Find one thing you want to work on for the next Open. Ask a coach, schedule a personal session, go to a clinic or speciality class, or find resources online. No one woke up one day and became proficient at all Crossfit movements - okay maybe some of the Games athletes did, but it still took work, practice, and the desire to get better.
Connect with your peers
One thing I do love about the Open is finding who your fellow athletic peers are. You may know who they are already, but sometimes you’ll be surprised who you were neck and neck with in the rankings each week. They are your friends, your training partners, and people who you can both push and be pushed to lift a little heavier, go a little longer, and be a little faster. Sometimes a little friendly competition is actually what will make us better.
That being said, celebrate your successes. One of the most humbling things I experience as a coach and Crossfit athlete is seeing my peers surpass me in WODs. Chalk it up to ego, but reminding ourselves that our journey is often VERY different than someone else’s. Remembering that our community is built on mutual respect for others and that what connects us is our collective goals being met in an inclusive and celebratory environment.
Remember where you started
Maintain perspective in moments where you feel discouraged or down on yourself. I remember in my second Open workout ever (13.2) facing a increasing snatch ladder. Four months into Crossfit and I was faced with thirty snatches at 135 pounds. Needless to say I did a lot of staring at the barbell for the remaining 10 minutes I had. It took me years to build up to even attempting a snatch at that weight. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve come a long way.
One thing I was reminded by this year is the incredible community I am a part of - a group of wellness-minded individuals willing to leave it all on the floor, literally. Thank you for sharing your wins and your regrets. It’s YOU who makes me look towards the 2018 Open with a little less apprehension. Congrats on another year, "In The Open"!
Want to start working on your weaknesses NOW? Schedule a FREE goal check-in with a coach today to come up with a plan!
CrossFit is everywhere. If you've never done a "drop-in" to another gym before, you totally should! A couple key things to keep in mind;
Sometimes, dropping-in to an affiliate isn't convenient. Luckily, you can get your fitness anywhere, anytime. (BONUS points if you get your friends/family involved!) When in doubt, choose a few bodyweight movements and keep it simple. I'll leave some ideas here;
lunges (or pistols or step ups)
jumps (box jumps, tuck jumps, jump rope, broad jumps)
hollow / superman (timed holds, rocks)
Head to the FB Members Group where I'll continue this discussion and get your favorite travel WOD ideas!
We can't wait to hear all about it when you get back!
What's up y'all -- Coach C. here. On Sunday we wrapped up our first ever cycle of Gymnastic Foundations. This course took Power Grid athletes all the way from the basic shapes of hollow and arch to super advanced (and heavily scaled!) skills like the muscle up, handstand walk, and even the Iron Cross! There was some huge improvement, and a much deeper understanding of just how technical these movements are. Who knew a "simple" hollow hold could require as much mental processing as a barbell snatch?
We also used the first cycle as a test run to try out a few different formats and class times to see what got the best response. Our Sunday sessions proved to be the most popular, and engaging sessions -- so they're here to stay!
Gymnastic Foundations will begin it's new, bi-monthly schedule -- meeting two Sundays in each month. The skills will be posted early in the month so you can plan your attendance in advance. NO THURSDAY GYMNASTICS CLASSES
REMEMBER! This program is included in your membership and has no added cost! We focus on virtuosity of movement, and we strive for perfect form. No matter the skill, every athlete can attend every class. You will leave with a better understanding of that skill, how to scale it to where you are at currently, and how to advance to where you want to be.
*non-CFPG members welcome to drop-in @ $30/class
June Gymnastic Foundations Schedule (RSVP on TRIIB)
June 11th: Hollow Body (*aka the single most important gymnastic skill -- DON'T MISS IT!)
June 25th: Arch & hollow body review + applying these shapes on different apparatus (rings, pull up bar, ropes, p-bars, etc)
Come out for some rowing, running, and air bike interval work. Join the Summer Sweat Series, starting May 23rd!
What: We will be offering three classes a week. You are welcome to come to all or just one. Each week we will focus on one movement. Here is an example of what to expect:
Tuesday Rowing workout A
Thursday Rowing workout B
Saturday Rowing workout C
****If you can only make it to Tuesday and Saturday week 1, that's okay! The next week will start fresh with three new workouts to keep things constantly varied, so stay tuned to our social media pages!
Who: Anyone looking to increase their endurance, aerobic and lactate threshold, and overall metabolic conditioning. No experience necessary! Did we mention that it will help you with all your CrossFit workouts??
**Starts May 23rd**
Tuesday 6:30 - 7:00PM
Thursday 6:30 - 7:00AM (Yes morning crew, we said AM!!)
Saturday 11:00 - 11:30AM
Where: CrossFit Power Grid - when the sun is shining, we will be OUTSIDE.
How: Drop in to any class anytime.
*Please note: You must sign up for class on Triib 12 hours before class.
** if no one signs up before deadline, class with automatically be cancelled
$15 per class
SAVE and buy a 10 class punch pass for $100
Just in time for summer, Power Grid has four new awesome shirt designs! To make it even better, all designs can be fully customized. Add your name, represent your class pride (Night Warrior, #WokeAF, 5:Dirty), change the color of the shirt, or the size and location of the design - the possibilities are endless! There is even an option to design your own shirt from scratch using CFPG logos and artwork.
To help you understand how to make your CFPG shirt special, check out an instructional video:
**As a special offer, CFPG is offering FREE SHIPPING if you order by 5/15. Use the code FREESHIP by 5/15 to get free shipping.
Suns out, guns out - Get your new CFPG shirts now!
During Open Gym on the final Thursday evening in March, the gym lacked the same "buzz" that had developed over the previous five weeks. Every year, we say goodbye to The Open in the most bittersweet fashion. The built up nerves and the debit to both your time and energy is perfectly encapsulated in that brief stretch. There's always a small drop-off in attendance the week after The Open as we all catch our collective breath and take the opportunity for an active recovery week. On Monday, we start a new programming cycle and look ahead to new gainz!
However, as I know you're all eager to find out which team is going to be crowned Power Grid Cup champions, let's take one more opportunity to look back on some of our favorite memories from Friday Night Lights and The 2017 Open.
17.5 came in unceremoniously, and few of us were surprised by the couplet of thrusters and double unders. Our final Friday Night Lights coincided with our CrossFit Power Grid's two year anniversary, so party we did! Athletes gave the workout their all, and afterwards enjoyed some nourishing grub from Chipotle, courtesy of Night Warrior Miike and CFPG! Our sponsors supported us in making the final week extra special with games like the Wheelbarrow Race and Chin-Up Hold contest. Thank you to Kill Cliff, Ascent Protein, Get RX'd, BodySpec, Black Medicine, and Vuori!
Our community is built on the feeling of unity, and the fun that we can all have together. However, the greater theme that originally united us was the pursuit of health and fitness. The Open is one of the most powerful ways to assess where you are at with your training and to push yourself to new limits. We are so grateful to our athletes for providing us with the opportunity to see you Strive Valiantly and Dare Greatly.
Let's celebrate some of the outstanding achievements in this year's Power Grid Cup!
You have asked and it is finally here. CrossFit Power Grid is thrilled to launch its first ever competitive training class! As the Open comes to an end, we know that you want to continue to test yourself and push your boundaries. Come join us for Cycle 1 of this 6-week program, where we will spend time focusing on your mobility, strength and metabolic conditioning!
WHAT: One hour class offered twice a week for a 6-week cycle. Offering this class in cycles will allow you to test your skills in week one and retest them in week 6, to see how far you have come. We will challenge you to take that extra level of commitment in your training and work on additional skills you might not have the time to work on during regular class hours.
WHY: You want to receive personalized coaching to improve your mechanics and consistency. You want to take your fitness to a new level; you want to be stronger, faster, more skilled and maybe even compete!
WHEN: Tuesday evenings at 7:30PM and Sunday mornings at 10:00AM. Class 1, Week 1 will start on Tuesday April 11.
WHO: EVERYONE!! Looking to get stronger, increase your work capacity, and/or refine your CrossFit movements? This class is for YOU. Wondering if your skills are not quite there yet to join a competitive training class? Just like in any Power Grid class, our workouts are scalable, which means we will adapt the programming to suit your needs and skills.
PRICE: $149 per athlete, per cycle.
HOW TO SIGN UP: Talk to one of the coaches or send us a message and we will add it to your monthly invoice.
Still on the Fence?
We will be offering a FREE sample class on Saturday, April 8th at 8:30AM! If you want to see if this program is a good fit for you, make sure you RSVP before it fills up! You will leave this class a better CrossFitter than you entered.
Class Schedule for Cycle 1:
Saturday April 8 @ 8:30 AM – Sample Class